NuvaRing is a prescription vaginal ring that is used for preventing pregnancy. It works by stopping ovulation and altering the cervical mucus and lining of the uterus. NuvaRing is very similar to oral contraceptives (birth control pills), except it is a flexible ring that is inserted vaginally once a month. Common side effects may include weight gain, vaginal secretion, and nausea.
What Is NuvaRing?
NuvaRing® (etonogestrel/ethinyl estradiol vaginal ring) is a flexible vaginal ring used for contraception. It contains etonogestrel (a progestin) and ethinyl estradiol (an estrogen), which are released slowly over time.
It works like combined oral contraceptives (birth control pills that contain both an estrogen and a progesterone). Mostly, it prevents pregnancy by stopping ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries). However, it also prevents pregnancy in two other, minor ways. NuvaRing alters the cervical mucus (the fluid of the cervix, which is the lower, narrow part of the uterus that is connected to the vagina), making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. Lastly, it alters the lining of the uterus (called the endometrium), making it less receptive to an embryo.
Effects of NuvaRing
NuvaRing was shown to be an effective birth control method in three large clinical trials. In these studies, for every 100 women who used it for a year, one or two became pregnant. This is very effective, compared to many other methods of contraception. For instance, as many as 14 percent of women using condoms for a year will become pregnant.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed August 31, 2007.
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